Secretary General 2003-2015
Dan was Secretary General of International Alert from 2003 until August 2015. Having graduated in 1973 from Cambridge University where he read English Literature, Dan’s work on peace issues started when he began research on UK defence policies in 1976. Prior to joining Alert Dan held a number of senior positions, most notably as Director of the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo from 1993 to 2001. He also held fellowships at the Norwegian Nobel Institute and Hellenic Foundation for Foreign and European Policy (ELIAMEP), and was for over a decade the Chair of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.
Dan is a prolific author and since arriving at Alert he has continued to publish widely. All told he has authored, co-authored and edited sixteen books including successive editions of The Atlas of War and Peace. Responsible for over 100 journal articles and chapters in anthologies he is also regularly invited to advise governments and international organisations on policies and structures for peacebuilding, including through his membership of the Advisory Group for the UN Peacebuilding Fund, of which he was Chair until 2011. At Alert he produced the path breaking A Climate of Conflict (2007) report on the links between climate change, peace and war and continues to lead the organisation’s advocacy on a range of issues critical to the reduction of conflict and building of peace.
Dan is also Professor of Peace and Conflict at the University of Manchester, attached to the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute.
He was awarded the OBE in 2002 and blogs on international politics at www.dansmithsblog.com.